Barcodes & QR Codes

Can I Use QR Codes for Inventory?

A woman scans a QR code from clothing.

Did you know that QR codes were made for inventory? It’s true! In the early 1990s, Japanese developers released the QR code in response to merchants’ requests for more inventory-tracking data than a barcode contains. So, although QR codes are famous for giving quick access to a website or the number one song on pop charts, their origin is in inventory.

Can I Use QR Codes for Inventory?

Yes! QR codes are ideal for inventory tracking. A single QR code holds more than 7000 numbers—or 4000 alphanumeric characters. The storage capacity of a QR code far exceeds the limitations of its revered granddaddy—a one-dimensional barcode that holds 20 characters. You’ll have better, faster data for inventory management.

How to Use QR Codes for Inventory

You can start by creating a list of products, assets, processes, or services that you want to track with QR codes. And follow the steps below:

  • Determine the label sizes you need for your products or services
  • Create QR codes
  •  Print and test QR code labels
  •  Scan the codes into inventory management software

Creating and printing QR codes

Find an online QR code generator that creates codes for inventory and is compatible with a variety of devices. You’ll also need a quality barcode printer and durable labels.

Instead of entering all your products in a QR code generator, start with a sample. If you decide that a QR code generator doesn’t meet your needs, you’ll want to test a different one. Use your list of products or services to complete the following steps:

  • Follow the prompts in the QR code generator and enter details about your products or services.
  • Customize the details as needed.
  • Download the QR code, print it, and scan it to test for speed and accuracy. You can use a handheld scanner or a QR code reader app on your mobile device.
  • Print labels for a variety of items, apply them to your products, and scan them as a quality check.

Selecting Inventory Management Software

An inventory app being used on a laptop shows barcodes and QR codes being created, scanned and printed.

Look for inventory management software that uses QR codes to help you track and analyze inventory. In a single scan, you’ll upload more details than a barcode provides and spend less time on manual entries for customization. There are other advantages of using QR codes for inventory:

  • Conveniently scan with a mobile device
  • Get real-time data that’s easy to sort, filter, and categorize
  • Receive stock alerts or date reminders related to your inventory
  • Manage your inventory across multiple business locations from your desktop, laptop, tablet, iPad, or mobile device
  • Share access with other users and set access permissions
  • Print QR code labels

Before you choose inventory management software, list the problems you need it to solve. Some of the software capabilities many businesses look for include:

  • Customizable
  • Compatible with operating systems and devices used by your business
  • Upgrades to grow with your business
  • Functions across multiple business locations

Want to use QR codes to make your inventorying way more intuitive? Start a free trial of Sortly today!